An Honors student smiles at graduation.

Honors Curriculum Update: Fall 2021

In Spring 2021, the UNCW Faculty Senate and other governing entities in Academic Affairs approved updates to the UNCW Honors College curricular requirements.

Brief Summary

Moving forward, all Honors students will have 3 fewer hours of curricular requirements (specifically, the Honors University Studies category) to graduate with University Honors. Incoming UNCW students in Fall 2021 or later will have small additional differences, and Honors is introducing a Transfer Bridge Program.

Table of Contents

  1. Updates for Current Students
  2. Updates for Future Students
  3. New Course: HON 399
  4. Updates on Good Standing in Honors
  5. Process for Honors Withdrawal
  6. Honors Requirements Worksheets and Tracking

 


Updates for Current Students

Please see the new Honors curriculum updates:

For students who entered as first-semester, first-year students

Previous requirement

New requirement

HON 110 (3 credits)

No change

HON 110 (3 credits)

No change

4 courses (12 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses

3 courses (9 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses

2 courses (2 credit hours) of HON 120, 121, or 191

No change

2 courses (2 credit hours) of HON 120, 121, or 191

No change

1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212

No change

1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212

No change

3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.

No change

3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.

No change

Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

No change

Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

No change

Total credits: 29 hours

Total credits: 26 hours

 

For students who entered as transfer students OR who applied to Honors after their first semester at UNCW

Previous requirement

New requirement

3 courses (9 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses

2 courses (6 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses

2 courses (2 credit hours) of HON 120, 121, or 191

No change

2 courses (2 credit hours) of HON 120, 121, or 191

No change

1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212

No change

1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212

No change

3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.

No change

3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.

No change

Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

No change

Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

No change

Total credits: 23 hours

Total credits: 20 hours

 

What if I already took the full number of Honors University Studies courses? Did I take an unnecessary class?

Ideally you benefited from the class completing your University Studies or general education curriculum anyway. However, additional Honors University Studies courses taken on top of the 3 or 2 courses required can count in your honors electives category, thereby fulfilling a different requirement.

Why was this change made?

For a long time, Honors students have been arriving at UNCW with more and more AP and dual-enrollment credit, which has made it difficult to complete 4 units of Honors University Studies. We also recognize that the UNCW Honors College has one of the highest credit-hour requirements in the UNC system, and that the UNC system as a whole recently decreased the total credit hour requirement to graduate from a university from 124 hours to 120 hours. In accordance with these realities, we made a curricular change for new students entering UNCW in Fall 2021, but wanted to extend the benefits of that change to current students as well.  

Will this change be reflected in the Degree Audit?

The Degree Audit has always been inadequate for tracking Honors curricular requirements because of the large number of substitutions and flexible situations we work with. Even if we contact the Registrar to correct your degree audit, taking an additional honors class in a following semester may disrupt the display again, which means we will only correct degree audits for students preparing to graduate.

Please use one of the worksheets or checklists available to track your honors requirements. Links to these resources are available at the bottom of this webpage.

Your graduation with University Honors is NOT dependent on whether your Degree Audit correctly displays your requirements. Each semester, Honors staff goes through graduating students’ transcripts individually to ensure you graduate with Honors, and we provide a cleared list to the Registrar’s Office.

 


Updates for Future Students

For students enrolling at UNCW in Fall 2021 and beyond, we have updated Honors curriculum requirements to graduate with University Honors. They are as follows.

For students who entered as first-semester, first-year students in Fall 2021 or later

Required courses:

  • HON 110 (3 credits)
  • 3 courses (9 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses
  • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 120, 121, or 191
  • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 399: A Thesis Preparation Course
  • 1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212
  • 3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
  • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

Total credits: 26 hours

For students who entered as transfer students OR who applied to Honors after their first semester at UNCW, Fall 2021 or later

Required courses:

  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses
  • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 120, 121, or 191
  • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 399: A Thesis Preparation Course
  • 1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212
  • 3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
  • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

Total credits: 20 hours

For transfer students who enroll in the new Honors Bridge Program in Fall 2021 or later

  • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 399: A Thesis Preparation Course OR HON 191: Intro to Research and Discovery
  • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)
  • 5-6 credit hours of Honors seminars, with these options:
    • Option 1: Two courses of HON 210/211/212 (6 credit hours)
    • Option 2: One course of HON 210/211/212 (3 credit hours) AND two courses of HON 120/121 (2 credit hours)
    • Option 3: One approved high-impact practice (contract class, graduate course, approved internship, study abroad, etc.) AND one of these:
      • One course of HON 210/211/212 (3 credits)
      • Two courses of HON 120/121 (2 credits)

Total credits: 12-13 hours

 

How are these requirements different than the previous requirements?

The main differences are:

  • HON 399, the thesis preparation course, will be required instead of one of the HON 120 seminars. This is a simple substitution and results in the same number of credit hours required.
  • The Bridge Program is an option for transfer students who enroll at UNCW from Fall 2021 and onward.

How do I know if the new requirements apply to me?

If you enrolled at UNCW in Fall 2021 or later, the new requirements apply to you.

Are transfer students required to do Bridge Honors instead of the typical path?

No. Transfer students can now choose between University Honors for Transfer Students (20 credit hours) and Bridge Honors (12-13 credit hours). To learn more about the differences between these options and how to apply for either one, visit our Transfer Applicants webpage.

I’m a transfer student who enrolled at UNCW before Fall 2021. Can I pursue the Bridge Program instead of University Honors for Transfer Students?

We will consider this in special cases. Please email binghams@uncw.edu for more details.

Can I apply to the Bridge Program if I am not a transfer student?

No. Anyone who did not enter UNCW as a transfer student should complete standard University Honors. This program is specifically designed for students with more than 40 hours of general education credit and/or an associate’s degree, to provide a pathway to Honors. Any student who entered UNCW as a traditional first-year student should pursue University Honors, including early college students. Basically, if you have taken or need to take a first-year seminar class (HON 110 or UNI 101), you are not eligible for the Bridge Honors program.


New Course: HON 399

Many of you are aware that for the past several semesters, we have offered an HON 120 seminar titled HON 120: A Thesis Preparation Course. We are adding a new course heading, HON 399, under which this topic will be taught beginning in Fall 2022. The thesis preparation course will continue to be taught under the HON 120 course heading in Fall 2021 and potentially Spring 2022. In the academic year 2022-2023, we anticipate moving this course fully under the heading of HON 399.

Why add the new course heading?

For future students, HON 399 will replace one of the HON 120/121 requirements. Requiring a thesis preparation course will better prepare honors students to complete their thesis projects in the senior year. Please note, students who entered the Honors College before Fall 2021 will NOT have to take this course as a curricular requirement. Students who enrolled at UNCW Fall 2021 or later will have to take HON 399 as part of their honors requirements.

Am I still allowed to take the thesis preparation course, HON 120 or HON 399?

Yes, but HON 399 will be prioritized for students who enter Honors in Fall 2021 and after. As a student who entered UNCW Honors before Fall 2021, you are not required to take this course. If you choose to take it, it will count as one of your one-credit honors seminar requirements. Even if you take it once it is offered as HON 399 instead of HON 120, it will count in place of HON 120. Remember, though, it will continue to be offered as HON 120 until Fall 2022. 


Updates on Honors Good Standing and Continuing in the Program

There has not been, nor will there be, a requirement that students take an Honors class every semester to remain in good standing in Honors.

However, beginning in Summer 2021, students who go more than 2 consecutive semesters without enrolling in an Honors class may be contacted about their intentions to remain in the program and asked to provide a plan of completion. This is particularly true for students receiving scholarship money from Honors.

The updated definition of being in “good standing” in Honors includes:

  • A GPA of 3.3 after 27 hours at UNCW and 3.5 after 57 hours at UNCW
    • Note: Failure to achieve this GPAs will not result in removal from Honors. We have a flexible probation system. As long as you are working on bringing your GPA up, you will not lose Honors privileges.
    • Honors scholarships may be stricter and require a 3.5 GPA for renewal.
  • Progression on the Honors curriculum
    • No more than 2 consecutive fall or spring semesters without taking an Honors class, UNLESS you have already completed the requirements
  • Earn a minimum of a C (2.00) in all honors work (B or 3.00 in 499 and honors contract courses) and have a 3.00 overall GPA in all honors curriculum coursework

Withdrawing from the Honors College

Students who no longer have an interest in completing University Honors should use this form to request to withdraw from the Honors College.

Before you decide to withdraw, consider these FAQs:

Concern #1: There are too many Honors courses and I can't fit them in my schedule. 

Answer: Know that there are multiple options and substitutions we can exercise to help make it easier to fit honors courses in your schedule over the next few years. Please reach out to kroushln@uncw.edu to talk about your options if you want to stay in Honors but are worried about finishing the requirements. 

Concern #2: I am not getting many benefits out of my Honors experience.

Answer: Honors is a program where you get out what you put in. We encourage you to check the Wavelink calendar for upcoming events and the biweekly newsletter for myriad ways to get involved and meet folks. 

Concern #3: I don't want to do a thesis. 

Answer: The thesis project seems intimidating at first--but all it really is, is an opportunity to complete a creative or scholarly project about something you love, or are fascinated by, or are passionate about. Students have completed thesis projects on everything from comic books to seagrass to leadership styles to foreign language pronunciation to viruses to body image. If you need help figuring out what a thesis might look like for you, you can: 

Generally, if you want to stay in Honors but have any questions or concerns, you can check in with a staff member to talk it through. We'll o our best to help you figure out what the right decision is. 

Keep in mind, when you withdraw from Honors, you are forfeiting: 

  • Priority registration
  • Any scholarships you may be receiving from Honors
  • Honors programs and activities

Honors Requirements Worksheets and Tracking

Click here for ADA-accessible checklists. For printable worksheets, see below.

For students enrolled before Fall 2021

University Honors requirements (for traditional first-year students)

University Honors requirements (for transfer students and students who joined Honors after their first semester)

For students enrolling Fall 2021 or later

University Honors Requirements (for traditional first-year students)

University Honors Requirements (for transfer students and students who joined Honors after their first semester)

Bridge Honors Requirements (for transfer students in the Bridge Honors program ONLY)